Kenya: Gor Mahia, Ulinzi Pull Out as Five FKF Premier League Sides Play Pre-Season Tournament

Nairobi — Five FKF Premier League teams will take part in a week-long pre-season tournament which starts Tuesday afternoon at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani Annex, as the wait for the start of the new season continues.

Gor Mahia and Ulinzi Stars, who were originally part of the roster have pulled out. Ulinzi were the first out and were replaced by Bidco United while Gor Mahia pulled out in the eleventh hour due to internal problems that have seen a huge chunk of the senior players go on strike.

The record Kenyan champions have had a troubled pre-season with constant strikes by players due to outstanding salary issues, and last weekend, had to go to Nyeri with a very lean squad for a friendly match against Division Two side Marafiki United, which they lost 1-0.

They have been replaced in the tournament by National Super League side MCF. Kariobangi Sharks, Sofapaka, Nairobi City Stars and Kenya Police FC will be the other teams in the tournament.

The six teams have been divided into two groups. Bidco, Sharks and Sofapaka form Group One while Police, MCF and City Stars form the second group.

Sofapaka get the tournament started on Tuesday 2pm when they take on Sharks before Police play City Stars in the 4pm kick off.

For the semis, the top placed Group One team will face off with the second placed Group Two team and vice versa, while the two bottom teams will play against each other.

Teams resumed for pre-season training in July and the uncertain dates to start the new season have now put the players in limbo and in danger of overworking.

League champions Tusker FC head coach Robert Matano will give his players a week of rest after they concluded their pre-season training camp.

AFC Leopards head coach Patrick Aussems was among the coaches to strongly condemn the Transition Committee for the manner in which they are running affairs, noting that they plan pre-season according to the initial start dates given.

Many coaches require a maximum of six weeks for pre-season before their fist game of the campaign.

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